UC gives P100,000 cash incentive to SEA Games silver medalist Ando

Richiel S. Chavez

WEIGHTLIFTER Elreen Ann Ando received a cash incentive from the University of Cebu (UC) on Friday, December 20, 2019, for her silver medal finish in the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

Ando, 21, made a courtesy call to UC president Augusto Go, who promised to support the former on her dream to qualify to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Ando received P100,000 cash incentive from UC.

“It’s not only for UC but for the Philippines. (It showed) that we can produced one of the country’s top weightlifters. I’m very proud of that. She’s one of the strongest ladies in the Philippines now. I hope she makes it to the top on her next competition,” said Go.

“We will help with her training to get that goal,” added Go.

Cyclist Pamela Jane Ruiz, a second year nursing student, who represented the country in the downhill event, also made a courtesy call to Go. Ruiz finished at seventh place in the women’s downhill.

“This is the first time that I was welcomed. I’m thankful to UC,” said the senior high student Ando.

“I’m happy that I was recognized even if I did not get a podium finish,” Ruiz said, who received P8,000 incentive from the school.

Ando, a homegrown talent who started her career in local sporting meets, is now eyeing to qualify to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. To get a slot she must join qualifying event that will merit points.

She will be flying to Rome, Italy in January and also in Kazakhstan for the last two qualifying events. The Summer Games is set on June 24 to August 9 next year.

“Our goal is for her to qualify. We’re hoping that we can get a slot in the final two qualifiers,” said weightlifting coach and former Olympian Ramon Solis.

UC’s athletic director Jessica Honoridez said the school is focused on character development above all else.

“The school nurtures student-athletes and not just send them to competitions. We value academics. When she goes out of Cebu, we gave her assignments and a list of what to do,” she said.

“We are happy on her performance in the SEA Games. The school administration will support her. Hopefully she gets to qualify in the Olympics,” ended Honoridez.

Ando won a silver medal in the women’s 64-kilograms division.

Ando was leading most of the way but was hit with technicalities as judges ruled a "no lift" as time ran out on her third and final attempt in the clean and jerk to settle for a silver medal in her first SEA Games, losing the gold to Vietnam’s Pham Thi Hong Thanh.